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Smoke house plans

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by SE Iowa, Jul 13, 2009.

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  1. SE Iowa

    SE Iowa New Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    SE Iowa
    Does anyone know where I could get a set plans on how to build an authentic old-fashioned smokehouse? My dad explained how his grandpa did it but wasn't sure on the details. All he remembers is a little wooden shed with a trench in the middle. His grandpa would start a fire and then throw green hickory logs on the fire in the trench 1-2 times per day. He said there was always big pieces of beef on hooks lined up along the walls. He also remembered that his Grandpa would periodically rub the meat with salt. His mom would take the meat after ~1 month and would cook some for immediate use, can some for winter use and then layer some between salt and oats on the front porch for long term drying/storage. He said it tasted so good, not like anything today, although I suppose nothing tastes as good as childhood memories. (not to mention the health factor of all this salt, although my grandmother just turned 101 this march!).

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Aug 11, 2008
    Anderson, Indiana

    I can rember my grand fathers smoke house just like your talking about but it was pork. My father also had a brick smoker not inclose like your talking about, and I smoke with the off set fire box and my dad says it better than he or his fater where doing! (but my father always says the meal he is eating is the best he has ever had) The hams and beacon would be cool to be able to do. The diffrence with a smoke house is that it is done much cooler temps.
  3. dvellone

    dvellone Feeling the Heat

    Sep 21, 2006
    Here is a pretty good website with forums and some plans:

    And another site with good info on principles:

    I built a 2'square x 7' high smoke house with a shed roof. I placed it on a small hill so that my fire pit didn't have to be too deep and I used a cut down steel drum for the pit and buried it so that the chimney run is about 6' long and underground. It was real simple to build and is real easy to operate. I cold smoke bacon and hams in it with success. There's a lot of ideas out there - using old refrigerators, steel drums, etc., but the basic principles are the same for cold smoking - some kind of chamber that is sealed well enough to contain the smoke for smoking the meat. This usually has an adjustable vent as well. And a fire pit where you'll be maintaining the fire itself that is providing the smoke. This should be at least several feet away from the smoke chamber and often underground to aid in cooling the smoke before its entry into the smoke chamber. Good luck with it and post your results.
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